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PM scraps Alojamento Local 'let the neighbours decide' amendment

alThe government’s poorly thought-out draft law to give neighbours the power to block Alojamento Local applications has died a premature death, even before going to parliament for discussion.

The prime minister has intervened to stop this controversial proposal from his own party that gave neighbours the power to authorise or to prohibit the rental of properties to tourists.(click here)

This short life of this draft law is possibly a record as the highly divisive proposal, introduced less than two months ago, now will not be scheduled for debate nor will it be voted on by MPs.

Signed by Socialist MPs Carlos Pereira and Filipe Neto Brandão, the draft law raised immediate objections from the mayors of Lisbon and Oporto, who had not been consulted in drafting of the proposed law despite representing the two Portuguese cities with the highest concentration of rental accommodation.

An additional, looming problem for the prime minister was the involvement of Hortense Martins, a Socialist Party MP, who has shares in the 'Investel, Investimentos Hoteleiros,' hotel group. She had played a key role in developing the legislative amendments to the Alojamento Local laws that would have disadvantaged owners of properties that are controlled by the condominium laws.

The legislative initiative was signed off by Filipe Neto Brandão and Carlos Pereira but it was Hortense Martins who played the decisive role in preparing the draft. (click)

The Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, also claimed she has not been consulted.

The Socialist Party’s initiative was aimed "to ensure that the activity of local housing, in the case of urban buildings intended for housing, is not exercised with disregard of the rights of other owners."

To ensure neighbours were involved, among the documents needed when applying for an Alojamento Local licence, a copy of a positive decision from the owners’ condominium assembly would have been required.

Alojamento Local is one of the dossiers that now will be dealt with by the new Secretary of State for Housing, Ana Pinho, at a time when the lack of properties available for long-term rental in Portugal’s cities has become a real problem.


For property owners looking to go legitimate, contact the National Association of Local Lodging Establishments at www.nalle.pt  and/or ask afpop for information.


0 #8 Charly 2017-07-19 09:31
In this week's BARLAVENTO weekly newspaper a very intersting article has been published about AL. In fact it is about the first time I read very severe critics made by a Portugese politician. What he says make sense but what he is saying about today's socialist rulers was also
true in the formet PSD governement.
History repeats itself all the time.
+1 #7 Charly 2017-07-19 03:37
Dear Liveaboard, Belgium, Austria, Switserland, Luxemburg and the (Spanish) Canary Island definitely solved these problems already a long time ago. As far as Italy concerns you are right, the other countries you mention I do not know.
+3 #6 liveaboard 2017-07-18 21:28
Quoting Charly:
the only thing they have to do is to ask "colleague countries" to share their knowledge"

Really? which European country has solved this problem?
I hear they have the same conundrum in Spain, Netherlands, France, and Italy for sure.
How to regulate residential homes being used as holiday lets.
+3 #5 Charly 2017-07-18 17:58
Dear Dierdre, indeed in practically all european countries they have separate laws. one for short time lettings and one for long time lettings. The main reason is that these lettings ressort under different ministeries that have totally different agendas. Short lettings is the ministerie for tourism and long Lettings is for the minsterie of housing, social matters, family matters, etc.
As there are also "constitional matters" involved one has to understand long lettings is a very delicate matter . In fact Portugal could learn very quickly and easily how to do in both segments: the only thing they have to do is to ask "colleague countries" to share their knowledge" and the matter is fixed ! In Europe such a collaboration is perfectely possible and feasable.
+2 #4 Dierdre 2017-07-18 12:16
Anytime the Portuguese A L law is mentioned it always triggers the question - how is it developed countries manage to run fully legal and licensed rentals, for both locals and tourists - of rooms and properties?

Someone also additionally points out that isn't the core problem, although never transparently discussed, the need to stop any chance of a free and open rental marketplace? As theoretically guaranteed by Portugal under EU law and already found in more evolved EU countries.
+4 #3 Charly 2017-07-18 10:47
Shouldn't it be easier to make THE SAME RULES for both kinds of rentings ?
Of course I know Portugese like "to complicate" things at the utmost maximum.... and this is the consequence of course.
+3 #2 liveaboard 2017-07-18 09:39
The lack of long term rentals has to be largely due to the huge tax disincentives faced; meanwhile, short term rentals [if registered at all] pay much less income tax.

Short term rentals are a boon to owners and tourists, and spread some wealth around. But it's not all sunshine.
Neighborhoods are heavily burdened by the short term transient visitors and long vacant periods. Shops and schools need residents who live there to keep afloat.
The whole area needs a lot more thought.
But the unequal tax situation really has to be changed. Punishing landlords for renting to residents and rewarding them for renting to tourists has a negative effect on the country.
It's all about balance.
+2 #1 Charly 2017-07-17 19:00
What a mess and what a shame: socialist colleagues prepared amendements to a law whilst the concerned secretary of state has not been asked for advise or has not been notified !!!! This is really unseen and proves what a "kindergarten" the parliament is these days.